Shopping for Responsibility in Home Furnishings

by Bryn Huntpalmer
Apr 14, 2016 12:30 PM ET

IKEA Sustainability Officer Steve Howard practically shook the earth when he announced early this year that the home furniture market had reached “peak stuff.” New product sales, he said, had already seen their heyday and were now entering a decline. And he wasn’t just speaking off the cuff—IKEA is currently positioning their business towards a circular economy while still hoping to double sales by 2020. 

That would undoubtedly represent a watershed moment in sustainability—producing goods like home furnishings shrinks the world’s resources considerably. But the public’s desire for disposable, fashionable goods is what grew IKEA into the massive furniture provider it is today. So why would the company be considering such a sharp deviation from that business model?

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Bryn Huntpalmer is a mother of two young children living in Austin, Texas where she currently works as an editor for Modernize. In addition to regularly contributing to home remodeling and design websites around the web, her writing can be found on Lifehacker and